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Defra to tackle non-compliant online WEEE traders

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Defra is to call online trading platforms to a meeting to work out how to secure better compliance with waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) rules from them.

It followed concerns raised last year by compliance scheme Recolight that one fifth of lamps sold online were non-compliant with WEEE regulations.

The Government’s response this month to the consultation on changing the WEEE regulations also raised the issue, when it noted: “A large majority [or respondents] stressed that the total number of appointed authorised representatives in the UK since 2013 has been very low, and have therefore not addressed the challenge of ensuring internet sellers based outside the UK are registered as producers in the UK.”

The consultation found that many respondents felt the low uptake of authorised representatives “has had significant impact on producer costs [because] they are subsidising the compliance costs of WEEE ‘free riders’.”

But it noted that some overseas producers had registered with UK producer compliance schemes.

In its response, the Government said: “We recognise the specific issues with internet sellers and will organise a roundtable with key stakeholders to explore this issue.”

A Defra spokesperson told MRW: “We plan to invite businesses that provide online trading platforms for a discussion on how to increase the level of WEEE compliance for internet sellers. Details of the invitees and the timing are still to be finalised.”

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